Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Farmer Davey

I sometimes think if I had it to do all over again, I would be a graphic artist. I get so much enjoyment out of playing around in Photoshop. If the opportunity ever arises, I might take a class. But in the meantime, web tutorials will have to do. Here's my farmer boy:

Monday, March 27, 2006

Still Reading....




My mom called me on the phone today and asked if I've been crafting anything lately. Truth be told, I'm still reading Saving Fish From Drowning. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the book and should be finished in the next day or two. It's definitely one of those books I can't put down, so in short, no...no crafting going on here.

Thought this might be a good opportunity to post a picture of a pre-blog era quilt that I made about 2 years ago. I now have it hanging in a corner of my bedroom. Notice how it's held up at the top corners by a couple of pushpins? Shame, shame. That's no way to treat a future family heirloom (yeah, right.)

Also, look at this little goody I got in the mail today from Megan at Beetlegrass. Isn't Hansel the most hilarious--full of wide-eyed innocence. I just had to laugh when I first saw him. Check out the girth of those calves holding up those calf warmers. I'm a big fan of Megan's work. Wish I could draw like that!!! (wish I could draw, period.) Thanks so much Megan! I love it!

I'll blog more when I'm done with my read-a-thon. Hope you all are well!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Final Four



These are the last four blocks for the blockswap. I loved doing the two in the middle. They are definitely instant gratification blocks. You make them exactly like they look. Cut a bunch of strips, and after you sew on a strip, iron down the seams, and cut it at some random angle with a rotary cutter. Continue until you reach the desired width and then square it up. Fun times. By the way, the one on the far right is supposed to look like the beach blanket in the DS book. I'd love to have the large-scale version. Maybe someday.

My new bloggie friend Rebecca from The Painted Pear left a pretty neat comment on my blog yesterday. She said these blocks are like children. They're all unique but you can tell they came from the same parent. Soon, this momma will be sending these babes off into the world. So long, kiddos. Be well and make me proud!

I also wanted to mention that colorfool creates has started a new Flickr set for quick and easy projects. I love the name of it: Quick Crafts for Sanity. Perfect for busy moms that only have short spurts of time to get crafty. Check it out.

And just a heads up: it might be a few days before you hear from me. I'm going to be immersed in this book for the next few days. Has anyone else read it? I'm so far behind on my pleasure reading, it's ridiculous. I haven't even read the last Harry Potter book yet. It seems the only time I have for myself is in the evenings after the kids are in bed. Usually if I start reading something more than a magazine, I start drifting off to sleep. So, we'll see how this goes. I'm a big fan of Amy Tan, so I think this is going to work. Oh yeah, and I got it from the library, so I have a return deadline....even more motivating. Heh heh.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More Blocks and Fun Mail

Here are three more blocks for the blockswap. I'm still having fun, and I have four left to go. I think one of the best things about this process is that I get to make a variety of blocks. I'm getting some idea of what I like and what I don't, and which ones I could stand doing over and over if I decided I wanted to make a large scale quilt.

And look what I got in the mail all the way from the Netherlands from my new bloggie friend, Berber of KissKus.


I just happened to discover her blog on the day that she was offering up these miniquilts. She didn't know who the heck I was, but was nice enough to let me have one. Did I luck out or what? And get this--she ended up sending me TWO, because one would be lonely. Isn't that sweet? So I swapped her for a tissue holder. These miniquilts are actually sachets that smell of lavender. I was thinking to put one in my underwear drawer, but what a waste. I think they really should be somewhere where they will be seen and enjoyed. Don't you think? ;)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Cherish the Love

(click the blocks for a closer view)

I don't know what was going on with me Thursday night when I was quilting. I was feeling extraordinarily happy. I don't have a radio or TV in the dining room where my machine is set up, so usually I'm in there humming away to some song going through my head...sometimes it's a hymn or praise song from church, other nights it's just some random ditty, Thursday night it was Kool & The Gang. Yeah baby!

We should cherish the life we live - baby yeah -
Cherish the love
cherish the life - oh yeah -
cherish the love.

And can I say, I was really feeling it! A whole week without my husband, and he was finally coming back to me! Lots of supportive emails and phone calls from friends checking in on me. And another big reason--the block swap.

It's really sort of amazing that I'm making quilt blocks that will end up in 10 different places in this country, with 10 different people that I don't even know. And here we are, all in the privacy of our own homes, working on our own to create something together. And the fabrics. What is it about all that pretty Kona cotton--uncut and so full of potential? These are colors that I probably never would have chosen on my own, but they coordinate and contrast beautifully. I feel like I'm being stretched creatively and I love it! There is such joy and adventure in not using a pattern. I have a general idea in my head of what I'm going for, but ultimately when the quilt block is finished, it surprises me.

I've also been reading some blogs of others who are involved in the blockswap, and I think it's so interesting how we all are trying to really do our best work to please each other. Sewing, cutting, ironing and all the while thinking, "Wow, I hope this is good enough. I hope that whoever gets it will really like it." Cherish the love, baby.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

New Fabric

I happened upon a new-to-me blog the other day called My Spare Time and saw this adorable bag. I've seen bags similar to this lately all over the place, but I really liked the more muted fabric colors. So I emailed Sarah to find out where she got them, and guess what???? They're Tracy Porter fabrics from JOANN's! Yeah! And I'm so happy because I'm a tightwad and it's sooo hard for me spend $9 or more for a yard of fabric. And I just happened to have some birthday money from my in-laws burning a hole in my purse. And the best part? They all happened to be 30% off. So lookie-lookie at what I got:

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them. Might just have to break down and make myself a cute little Amy Butler Covington bag. I've had the pattern for quite some time now, but never found a floral fabric that really spoke to me. We'll see..... Whatever I make it'll have to be done after I get finished with all the baby quilts (4 of them now) and blockswap stuff.

I'm going to be taking a little bloggie break for the next few days, since my hubby is out of town (again!!!) and I want to be able to give my boys some extra love and attention this week. So if you don't hear from me for a few days, you'll know why. I'm fortunate that he doesn't have to leave on business trips too often, but when he does, it just makes me so sad. 14 years ago, before we were married we dated long-distance for a little over a year--this was long before email, by the way. He was teaching English in Taiwan, and I was finishing my last year of college in Michigan. We'd call each other on weekends (those phone bills were huge!) and write each other every other day. Oh, the longing, the pining, the constant feeling that something was missing. And worrying about him all the time, hoping that he was alright and not lying somewhere in a hospital bed where no one knew where to get in touch with me or his family. And now, when he goes on his trips, I still feel all that, and sometimes I guess it's a good thing. I know someone who LOVES it when her husband goes on business trips! Loves the freedom to do whatever she wants when she wants. I can't relate to that at all. Anyway, wish me luck. I'm going to have my hands full this week. And my big ole pregnant belly is making everything--leaning, reaching, lifting, walking--just a little more difficult. Only 3-1/2 months to go. I'm counting the days already!

p.s. Keith's new sentence pattern of the week: This ______ is too hard as a rock for me.
i.e. When looking in the pantry: "This vinegar is too hard as a rock for me."
When getting out of the van and spotting dad's bike: "Daddy's bicycle is too hard as a rock for me." Where does he get this stuff? What a crack up.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tissue Holder Tutorial

Here is a tutorial for making a cover/pouch for a Kleenex pocket pack. Use a 1/4-in. seam allowance.
(*don't add 1/4-in to the fabric, just sew at the 1/4-in line on your machine)



You'll need two pieces of fabric. One for the outside, and one for the inner lining. These both should be the same dimensions: 7" H x 7-1/2" W. I'll be using the number fabric as the outer fabric.
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Place the fabric right sides together and sew around the edges leaving a 2 inch opening for turning on the bottom edge.

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Turn it right side out and iron. Try to get your points nice and sharp. Don't worry about the opening in the bottom at this point. It will get sewn shut soon.

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With the outer fabric facing you, fold it in half vertically to create a center crease. Open it up again and fold the right edge over just past the center crease.

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Fold the left side over so that it just overlaps the right side. The slit should be more or less centered.

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Sew the ends down, making sure to reinforce the outer edges as well as the overlap. Clip the corners and some of the bulk on either edge.

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Turn it right side out, insert the tissues, and there you have it!


Oh, and if you do end up making one, send me a link to the picture, because I would loooove to see it!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Biding my Time

I'm waiting for my fabric order for the blockswap. I placed it on Friday and they said it would be 7 - 10 days before I receive it. OY! I'm ready to start on it now. Seeing Miss Rebecca over at 3 peas whipping out those blocks is giving me the shakes. I want my fabric and I want it now!!! So yeah, I've got some stuff going on, but it's mostly it's just busy work until I get my material.



This is what I worked on this weekend. I saw the cute ones that Beki made and decided that it was time to get my act together and make the pattern enlargement on the photocopy machine. (OK, actually I made my hubby take the book to his office to do it--heh, heh). It's Steve from the (what else?) Denyse Schmidt Quilts book. I made him from a old cushion cover, so he's nice and hefty. Recognize the fabric on his tum and ears? I've gotten a lot of mileage out of that Crate and Barrel napkin. Alas, that is the end of it.



And look at this fun bag I received from my friend Kendra for my birthday. It's the vinyl tote bag from the same book. She made one for herself a few months ago--you can see it here. Anyway, I was really touched to receive it, considering that she and her family are just getting settled into their new house and are busy with all that that entails. And also, she's just getting over her bout of morning sickness, so who's in the mood to craft when you're going through that???? Thanks Kendra! I LOVE IT!!!

In the next few days I'll try to get a tutorial up of the tissue holders.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Blow Your Nose in Style

It all started with the brown and green one on the right. I wanted to make a little Kleenex pouch to match my fashionista bag. My mom was here at the time and we fiddled and fiddled with the dimensions. It took a while. Our big holdup was not having an actual travel pack of Kleenex in front of us (duh!). The first ones we made were kind of square. But not to worry, they can still be used as maxi pad holders, you know, just in case all the contents of your purse spill out on the sidewalk. When we finally went to Target and purchased some Kleenex, we started cranking these out like crazy. GREAT way to use up quilting scraps. These are fun and quick. If you'd like a little tutorial, drop me a comment.

Oh yeah, and I'm so excited...I just signed up for my first swap ever over at http://blog.seedpodbooksandart.com/blockswap/

I (along with 49 others) am going to be making 10 Denyse Schmidt-esque quilt squares that are 10.5" x 10.5". They'll be made in coordinating colors. I have to send my squares in by April 7th, and then I'll get 9 in return. The one extra goes toward a charity quilt. You can sign up until March 8--anyone care to join me????? ;)